Archive for June, 2014

Satire: Russian Advantage in the Middle East

Posted on: June 30th, 2014 by Tom Pattillo No Comments

Monday, June 30, 2014

Putin has the advantage. Stalin is reputed to have said, “One death is a tragedy, one million deaths is a statistic.”

Russian morality, as embodied in Valdimer Putin, seems based on the same maxim. Putin has no problem with killing many, many people as long as the number of “statistics” is above one. Which means, whether 10 or 1,000, whether bombed, tortured, or massacred, death is just a statistic.

What is it about American/Western morality? What is it about one life? What is it about a family dead, a street destroyed or a town wiped off the map, which so upsets us? (Well, some of us, I do wonder sometimes about the Republicans in the U.S. and the Conservatives in Canada.) Why do “we” care?

Russian influence is prevailing in the Middle East. Prevailing because Russian tactics and morality fits perfecting in the morality and the ethics of all sides, all factions, all parties, and all leaders in the Middle East. Death is just a trivial fact (statistic) of war. Death is a means to an end. What that end is, is a concern of the future. And that future is whatever the “winner” wants it to be.

Therefore, what does the United States of America do now? Re-institute the Bush, Cheney, et al American insanity?

“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”

Louis Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice

No one doubts the zeal of Senator McCain, or any of the other government officers on both sides of the house who respond with righteous indignation at the actions of those for whom death is but a statistic. Righteous but blissful. Ignorance with power.

Seeing a situation or an action as being wrong does not mean that our “alternative” is any more right, righteous, or realistic than “theirs”. Or that simplistic solutions will work, anywhere. (Tis the prerogative of the less informed (notice I did not say stupid) to stake out positions that are based on dreams and ought-to-be’s. Of course being their prerogative in no ways ensures that they are right.)

Back to the United States of America, the world’s peacekeeper, the world’s best example of a civilized, free, democratic state, American the beautiful. Never has such an effective scam been perpetrated by so few and believed by so many.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Goebbels

Question: How much of the Bush/Cheney, et al, assumptions, objectives, and actions were based not on “saving” a civilization, “instituting” democracy, looking out for the world, merely an extension of Goebbels admonition, “keep up the lie by making it invisible, seamless to the outer world as envisioned by, and accepted by the people controlled by the vision. Ah, The Truman Show!

What now? America, democracy, the West . . . what is your view of the world you want to live in? What are your priorities? What are the lies you must give, what are the “lies” you want to maintain?